Last week I was on a call with salespeople creating content for Connect Calling. Their thought-leadership and creativity were excellent. White Papers on Industry trends and articles about market development were flying over the table; their teaser messages on Linkedin were superb. Without a doubt, customers and potential customers would click on their teaser requesting the respective research documents, and hence, an online connection would be created.
Coaching them on the next step, I asked, once you contact the potential buyer, what would be the objective of your call? They responded: “Well, of course, having a conversation about their business and their challenges to discover their needs”. This response opened the question: In the new way of selling, what is more effective, discovering needs or creating wants?
In the past, salespeople had an information inequality over their buyers. After all, additional services were created by marketing and operations and together formed solutions buyers most likely did not know. The seller used a sales process to discover gaps and dissatisfaction and created a need for their solutions. Often, the buyer immediately compared these add-on services or solutions to their current supplier and subsequently, the additional value was found. If the solution could turn into greater profits or/and efficiency gains, the buyer would like to know what they would need to pay to obtain the solution.
Fast forward to the present, where potential buyers can learn about products, services, and solutions on their own, thanks to the internet. The challenge for us as salespeople is not to drive the conversation around pains, dissatisfaction and needs that lead to information buyers can find on our websites already. Then you wouldn’t create enough value and is seen as wasting their time. The need for information, however, has not changed. Buyers are just after a different type of information. When asking them about their needs, they wouldn’t know what to answer. But they do know what they want: They would like to know what can help them improve their current state.
They are interested in something they cannot find on your company’s website. You! And once meeting with you, they are curious how you link your situational knowledge, experience and business acumen to their business challenges and how these insights can mean a strategic advantage for their business.
By doing this well, you help your prospect discovering something about themselves. They realize their business is at risk when not making a change. They realize will miss out on savings, or additional income and growth – and these may give them the strategic advantage. This is the new information buyers are after.
In this way you have created something the buyers want, and they wish to have it. Creating wants is more effective than discovering needs.
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